Dark Heart is on display on the roof of the Hayward Gallery as part of the Southbank's Winter Light exhibition.
A meditative work, Dark Heart is comprised of a pair of schematical, articulated arms that relentlessly and rhythmically rotate, whilst pulsing in and out. The piece, originally in place over a lake, plays on both literary and scientific references.
In the first instance the title refers to the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, in which the protagonists enter into a deadly spiral of obsession, equally repulsed by and attracted to each other in a tragic, eternal dance.
Secondly, the flat spiral pathway of the lights has associations with cosmic phenomena such as black holes, our solar systems, and numerous galaxies which, due to the laws of angular momentum, tend towards flatness over time. This work is being presented in a new way for Winter Light, but was initially the first outdoor mechanical work that Conrad made.
Image: Conrad Shawcross, Dark Heart
Photography courtesy Pete Woodhead and Southbank